McDonald's floats $5 meal to win back customers

McDonalds is considering a $5 meal to win back inflation-weary consumers - ConsumerAffairs

But first, it has to convince franchisees to go along

If you make less than $45,000 a year, McDonald’s wants your business.

In an effort to win back low-income consumers, who have pushed back against rising menu prices, McDonald's is contemplating a new approach that combines value-oriented menu items with heartier – and bigger – offerings.

After mixed results in the first quarter of the year, the chain is going pedal-to-the-metal trying to win back customers, many of whom have complained about rising prices. The first thing McDonald's is considering is a $5 meal deal to cater to budget-conscious consumers. 

Similar to past McDonald's budget-friendly meals, the proposed value meal likely consists of a sandwich, fries, and a drink.

The biggest obstacle, however, may be convincing franchisees to go along. Restaurant Business, an industry publication, reports the chain is working to sell the $5 meal to franchisees as a limited-time promotion. It reports operators rejected a similar bid in late April.

But that’s not the only punch McDonald’s is throwing. The New York Post also reports that McDonald's is planning to launch its biggest burger ever, aimed at satisfying customers' cravings for a more substantive meal.

Will it be bigger than its one-and-done McDonald's Triple Cheeseburger or Burger King’s Quad Stacker, or In-N-Out’s 4×4? The company isn’t saying, but it would have to lean in that direction to get any burger fan to pay attention.

Chicken Big Mac?

Is there more? Yep. Lots – either coming out or being tested in certain markets. There’a a new twist on the classic Big Mac, replacing beef patties with crispy chicken breast meat patties, accompanied by cheese, lettuce, pickles, and Big Mac sauce.

There’s also:

  • Cheese and Herb Melts: These are available in packs of five or a larger share box.

  • Galaxy Caramel Pie: A returning item that was first introduced last December.

  • Biscoff and Galaxy Chocolate McFlurries: Yep, those cookies you get on Delta Air Lines turned into a McFlurry, plus a flurry from ice cream swirled with Galaxy® Chocolate drops topped with Galaxy® Chocolate sauce.

  • Bacon Cajun Ranch McCrispy: a new variation of its McCrispy sandwich. 

What's next?

Remember, this is all about the folks who crave deals from restaurants. McDonald’s is in the position of being able to experiment.

“The battleground is with the low-income consumer. What you’re going to see is more attention to affordability. Think about that as an absolute price point, which is more important for that consumer to get them into the restaurants than maybe value messaging,” CEO Chris Kempczinski said. 

Kempczinski didn’t show all of his cards when he made that statement, but he did say this: “We are set up well to go after that; we have our Dollar 1, 2, 3 platform. There will be some activity at the local level to make sure we continue to provide value for the lower income consumer.”

Take a Home Warranty Quiz. Get matched with an Authorized Partner.